Alderman calls on COPA to expedite investigation into CPD, migrants: 'We have to resolve this'

For weeks, migrants in Chicago had been living at the 10th District Police Station; they were moved Friday

Craig Wall Image
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
CPD officers accused of sexual misconduct with migrants
Chicago police officers are under investigation for sexual misconduct involving migrant women housed at the 10th District Police Station, sources say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The head of the Chicago City Council's Public Safety Committee is calling on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to expedite its investigation into allegations of police misconduct involving migrants living at a police station.

COPA launched that investigation late last week after receiving a complaint that more than one officer had sexual relations with migrants under their care.

The Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents the rank-and-file police officers, is questioning the validity of the allegations, suggesting that if there was anything to them, the suspected officers would have been taken off the streets pending the investigation.

A cloud of suspicion continues to hover over the 10th District Police Station while the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against possibly four officers assigned there continues.

"The fact that no officer has been relieved (of) police powers speaks volumes; that means COPA, the department, the superintendent all know that these allegations are 99% likely false," FOP President John Catanzara Jr. said.

For weeks, families of migrants had been living at the 10th District, but on Friday, one day after COPA launched its investigation, the city abruptly moved them out and placed them in several different shelters.

"We have to resolve this; we have to. We can't let this linger. You know, it would be damaging to everyone if this takes months and months, and we still don't have answers. We need to solve this within weeks," Public Safety Committee Chair Ald. Brian Hopkins said.

RELATED: Chicago police officers under investigation for migrant sex allegations, COPA says

COPA declined to comment on its investigation, only confirming that it is ongoing.

But Hopkins said there are developments.

"Sources within the 10th, the 10th District have said that initially, there were four officers that were named as part of this, and two of them have since been told they're not part of this," Hopkins said.

The FOP said it may file a complaint against a COPA investigator for unethical behavior.

"We know that the investigator called one of the officer's names who was circulated, called his wife who, they're having issues, whatever, and was directly asking her if she thought he was capable of doing something like this, absolutely improper investigative techniques," Catanzara said.

The chair of the City Council's Committee on Immigration said the allegations of an officer having sex with a minor migrant demands action pending the investigation.

"If there are officers who are alleged to have engaged in this action, they should not be anywhere near those police districts or anywhere on the force until everything's determined," said Alderman Andre Vasquez, chair of the Committee on Immigration and Refugee Rights.

Vasquez said when the investigation is done, he wants to convene a joint meeting of the Immigration and Public Safety committees to question Chicago police about the results.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.